The chief Palestinian negotiator on Monday warned Israel that if it does not take peacemaking seriously, it will find itself dealing with the terrorist Hamas instead of moderates like him.
Negotiator Saeb Erekat and other Palestinian officials have been quoted as recommending dismantling the Palestinian Authority, set up in interim accords with Israel to prepare for creation of a Palestinian state. Erekat said that plan has failed because "18 years of negotiations since the two-state solution was raised have gone nowhere."
"We have reached our defining moment," he said. "We are still trying to convince the Israelis to stop (West Bank) settlement activities" and accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, and if progress is not made, "we will have to take other steps." He would not elaborate.
But he denied calling for dissolving the Palestinian Authority. "I didn't say that. Nobody said that," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview late Monday.